AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd:
"Today our nation held its breath as it waited for the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd. The verdict of guilty on all three counts delivered a measure of justice in a case that has held worldwide attention and moved our country closer to a racial reckoning that has been centuries in the making.
Although this verdict was a relief to those seeking accountability for the terrible circumstances that caused the needless murder of another Black person at the hands of police, no verdict or judgment can bring George Floyd back. Our thoughts continue to be with his family.
This trial is the culmination of but one story — a single example of a situation that plagues Black people in our society. We have much work to do to ensure that someday this type of incident will cease to be a part of life for the Black community. We must hasten the coming of that day, and those of us in health care have a special role to play.
As a precursor to many of the social determinants of health, racism is itself a public health crisis. I call on colleagues throughout academic medicine to join in the hard and urgent work that must be done to increase the likelihood of peaceful, safe, and healthy lives for all members of our society by putting an end to the violence of the type that took George Floyd’s life, intentionally changing the living conditions that are themselves risk factors for poor health outcomes, and eliminating health inequities from these and myriad other factors. The time to act is now."